You’ve probably heard it said a billion times. That line that comes mostly from the 15-30 year old brothers, who definitely know exactly how female Muslims should be dressed.
That’s not hijab.
This post is written to those brothers.
Did you know that Islam requires men to dress modestly and lower their gaze? Do you realize that the requirements of Islamic dress for men include mostly the same rules as for women?
- Not transparent
- Covering the awra
Now, when you’re complaining that a sister is wearing skinny jeans (“…that’s not hijab”), doesn’t it seem a little bit silly that you’re wearing skinny jeans? Perhaps just a little hypocritical?
Wow, this sister’s forearms are out. Haram. That’s not hijab. How dare she?
Dear brother, I see your thighs loud and clear from beneath the hem of those soccer shorts you’re wearing. They only come to mid-thigh, when your awra is definitely down to your knees.
She’s wearing makeup!
You’re wearing a red shirt. There’s equivalent evidence that it’s not permissible for men to wear red garments as there is for women not wearing makeup (yes, I’m talking from number of hadith, not number of times it was talked about by scholars).
That sister’s pants clung to her legs when she got out of the water at the beach.
Well, listen. She at least tried to cover her awra, because you’re definitely failing to meet yours. Navel to the knee, bro. Showing off your abs (or lackthereof) isn’t winning any akhira points.
Okay, enough with the snark.
We really have a problem in our Ummah. We’ve been cornered by society into speaking almost primarily on what women are wearing. We talk about the rights of women to wear what they want, yet double back with harsh criticism of our own. We talk about what is proper, what is right, and what is necessary for women. We judge women’s clothing. We judge women’s activities.
Islam is not a patriarchal religion. Islam is not a religion of judgement.
Islam is a religion of ease. Yet, we’ve been caught up in a mess of inequality, patriarchy, and judgement. We don’t hold our men responsible for their actions or appearance, but place the entire burden on the women.
I encourage each and every one of you to try three things:
- Step back, examine your lifestyle. Are your actions ones that you can proudly display yourself as a Muslim while doing?
- Challenge yourself to be visibly Muslim, in whatever style that you choose. Take your faith and display it through symbols or clothing. Do your deeds loud and proud.
- Remember that we each have our own method of displaying our faith, be it by actions, outer appearance, or words. Embrace and appreciate the diversity of the Ummah instead of judging and backbiting.